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Air Ride: Sky Sands

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Air Ride: Sky Sands
Various arrangements of "Air Ride: Sky Sands".
Debut appearance Kirby Air Ride (2003)
Last appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (2023)
Other appearance(s) Kirby Mass Attack
Kirby's Dream Buffet
Composer(s) Shogo Sakai
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"Air Ride: Sky Sands" (capitalized as "Air Ride: SKY SANDS" in the Sound Test) is the theme of the Sky Sands course in Kirby Air Ride. It was composed by Shogo Sakai.[1]


Racing through the sands in the sky.

"Air Ride: Sky Sands" has a fast-paced rhythm, set at 144 beats per minute in the key of E minor. The song is inspired by Middle Eastern music and appears to incorporate Indian instruments in particular. While grounded by acoustic guitar and electric bass, the lead switches between a bansuri and a shehnai, and its percussion primarily consists of a set of tabla drums. It also incorporates a sitar, a brass section, and a male choir; according to the booklet that comes with The Sound of Kirby Café, the choir was performed by Shogo Sakai himself.[2]

Game appearances[edit]

Kirby Air Ride[edit]

"Air Ride: Sky Sands" makes its first appearance here as the default theme of the course of the same name. As a checklist reward, clearing Sky Sands in Time Attack with a time of less than 3 minutes and 10 seconds will unlock the theme in the Sound Test, appearing as track 05.

Kirby Mass Attack[edit]

A remix of the Sky Sands theme plays in the fourth and tenth stages of Sandy Canyon in Kirby Mass Attack, rearranged by Shogo Sakai. In the Sound Test, this remix is titled "Night Desert". Because of the more limited Nintendo DS hardware, it's changed from a CD streamed track to a MIDI sequence; there are some differences in instrumentation as a result, such as replacing the electric bass with an 8-bit square wave. However, the male choir has been retained as a vocal sample.

Kirby's Dream Buffet[edit]

The original version from Kirby Air Ride, named "Kirby Air Ride: Memorial Song 2" in-game, is unlocked for potential use in races upon reaching Gourmet Rank 111 in Kirby's Dream Buffet.

Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe[edit]

In Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, a remixed version of the theme paired with an arrangement of "Air Ride: Machine Passage", named "Dusty Steel Field", plays during level 3 of the Booming Blasters sub-game. A chiptune arrangement of the theme, named "Dusty Steel Field (Secret Song)" is unlocked after clearing all the missions associated with the sub-game, and is used under similar circumstances. Both of these were arranged by Yuki Shimooka, and appear as tracks 92 and 160 in the Jukebox, respectively.

Other appearances[edit]

The song is available on the Japan-only albums The Very Best of Kirby: 52 Hit Tracks and Kirby's Airride Business trip Sound Test.

On The Sound of Kirby Café album, "Air Ride: Sky Sands" is remixed for Track 6, titled やすらぎのオアシス/エアライド:サンドーラ (Peaceful Oasis / Air Ride: Sky Sands). It is once again arranged by Shogo Sakai. The track is now in major key instead of minor, and has a much slower tempo with a bossa nova feeling. It has also been extended with regards to the original melody, including a piano solo. The album liner notes mention that Shogo Sakai performed the male choir, as he did in the original song, and Megumi Ohara performed the lead flute.[2]

Names in other languages[edit]

Air Ride: Sky Sands[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese エアライド:サンドーラ
Earaido: Sandōra
Air Ride: Sandoola
French Air Ride: SKY SANDS -
Italian Air Ride: SKY SANDS -

Night Desert[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese よるのさばく
yoru no sabaku
Desert at Night
Canadian French Désert de nuit Desert at night
European French Désert nocturne Nocturnal desert
German Wüste bei Nacht Desert at Night
Italian Deserto di notte Desert at night
Korean 밤의 사막
bam-ui samag
Desert at Night
Latin American Spanish Desierto oscuro Dark desert
European Spanish Desierto nocturno Nocturnal desert


  1. Kirby's Airride Business trip Sound Test
  2. 2.0 2.1 "原曲に漂う中近東の気配は減らしつつも、サンドーラの遺伝子は残すように心がけました。ゆったりとお茶を飲むときのお供にどうぞ。 そして、 原曲と同じくコーラスは酒井一人多量重、フルートはサウンドルーキー大原さんです。
    We tried to reduce the hints of the Middle East that were present in the original song while still retaining the genes of Sky Sands. It's a great accompaniment while having a relaxing cup of tea. And, just like in the original song, the chorus was performed by Sakai as a one-person ensemble; the flute was performed by Ohara, the sound rookie.
    " –The Sound of Kirby Café (liner notes)